Spice It Up. Grow Herbs and Tomatoes You Love This Spring.

Home Depot
Print Friendly
Difficulty: Beginner

 Garden tips by region spice-up

Tomatoes and herbs belong in every garden, either in the ground or in containers. A kitchen garden full of red, yellow and orange tomatoes along with parsley, basil and rosemary screams summertime.

For fast results, buy garden-ready tomatoes and herbs in large pots. You can put them right in the ground or in large containers, and herbs can be used almost immediately. Select tomato plants with strong stems, lots of flowers and even tiny fruit. Plant herbs close to your kitchen door, in the ground or in containers, for easy picking.

Transplanting Tomato Starts in the Garden:

  1. Plant tomatoes in full sun at least 2’ apart.
  2. Dig a hole several inches larger and deeper than the pot the tomato is in.
  3. Cover the bottom of the hole with 2” of compost mixed with a handful of bone meal.
  4. Remove the bottom leaves on each plant. For small plants, leave two sets of leaves at the top. Place the plant in the hole deeper than it was in the pot and fill in with rich soil, pushing dirt against the stem to prop it up.
  5. Scratch in ½ cup of tomato fertilizer around the plant. Mulch immediately so rainfall or water doesn’t splash up on lower leaves, which could transfer diseases to the plant.
  6. Put tomato cage around each plant, pushing firmly into the soil.

Plant Tomatoes in Containers

  1. Fill a 14” diameter or larger pot with a vegetable potting mix and moisten. Dig a hole in the center several inches larger and deeper than the pot the tomato is in.
  2. Cover the bottom of the hole with 2” of compost mixed with a handful of bone meal.
  3. Remove several leaves from the bottom of the stem and place the plant in the hole deeper than it was in the pot. Fill in with removed soil. 
  4. Scratch in ½ cup organic tomato fertilizer around the plant. Push tomato cage into the container for support.

Tip #1:

Plant cherry and grape tomatoes in hanging baskets in a sunny spot. Their dangling stems yield dozens of plump little tomatoes.

Tip #2:

Tomato worms love tomatoes as much as you do. Wait until it gets dark and inspect your plants with a flashlight. Remove any tomato worms and place in a jar of soapy water and discard.

How to Plant Herb Starts:

  1. Dig holes slightly deeper and wider than the pot the herbs are in.
  2. Amend the hole with a 2” layer of sand or pea gravel.
  3. Add a 1” layer of compost at the bottom of each hole. If planting in containers, simply fill with cactus potting mix.
  4. Pop herbs out of their pots and gently spread the roots.
  5. Place the plants in the holes and press soil around plants. 
  6. Water and feed with a diluted solution of fish emulsion and water.

Product Checklist:

Got questions about this article or any other garden topic? Go here now to post your gardening ideas, questions, kudos or complaints. We have gardening experts standing by to help you!